Author Topic: Lancaster Hole Entrance Shaft - Twin ropes  (Read 828 times)

Offline langcliffe

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Lancaster Hole Entrance Shaft - Twin ropes
« on: April 15, 2021, 08:42:29 am »
On a trip down Lancaster Hole yesterday, we returned to find a smart blue10 mm rope accompanying ours down the shaft. Fair enough - within the guidelines. Unfortunately, when I got to the top of our rope, I discovered that it had been deliberately  placed behind a flake to divert it away from theirs. It was close to the top, so rubbing was minimal and the only damage was a that the sheath had become fluffed up. I then continued up our rope towards the entrance to find that the other party had used a Y-hang in the chimney, completely trapping and entangling our rope in the process, necessitating a free-climb (albeit protected) from below the re-belay.

If the party involved reads this, may I respectfully ask that you be a little more considerate to your fellow cavers before there is an accident?

Personally speaking, I really don't think that a Y-hang in the chimney is necessary since it is just below the surface Y-hang, and that the two bolts are best used as alternative single re-belays. Additionally, if there is a rope on the main hang it is just as easy to go down the alternative route. In that way the ropes remain totally independent except for the surface belay.

Online Fjell

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Re: Lancaster Hole Entrance Shaft - Twin ropes
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2021, 09:55:06 am »
Like last week, I usually find people have been cheerfully using our rope. Indeed recently one group used it to teach someone how to prussik whilst we admired their effort from below for an hour or so. I don’t mind as long as they leave it where they found it. I take it as admiration for the quality of the rigging. I am starting to think I should get some 11mm Pit Rope for the purpose.

I also have a light which can light up the main hang from the bottom, being paranoid about this sort of thing.

Given that having two permits for Lanc is actively promoted, it might be worth showing the two best different rigs on the topo. There are a lot of p-bolts, so which ones are supported by CNCC? All of them?

Offline CNCC

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Re: Lancaster Hole Entrance Shaft - Twin ropes
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2021, 11:18:19 am »
This is a good question Fjell, and one we wish we could answer easily.

There are loads of P-anchors in Lancaster Hole not shown on the topo, allowing for a variety of creative routes down the main shaft. As for which ones were installed as part of the CNCC anchor scheme (presumably in the early 1990s for Lancaster Hole), we can only confidently say those shown in the topo, which is the classic route.

Many of the other P-anchors may have been installed under the early CNCC scheme, but are not depicted on the topo. This needs some research, and we will try to investigate the records.

We are actively discussing non-CNCC approved stainless steel resin anchors installed prior to the current scheme, including the ones on the Bar Pot alternative pitch, and Dale Head Pot, and possibly those extra anchors in Lancaster Hole. We are trying to decide whether these historic anchors should be retrospectively approved subject to an inspection/test, or whether they should at least be shown on topos with a cautionary note. We'll discuss this in our June meeting if anyone is interested.

We will look into this and maybe we can get the Lancaster Hole topo updated to reflect two separate hangs... as you say, this would be useful.

Obviously this doesn't fix a bottleneck in the entrance... There's always Cow Pot for more experienced cavers to escape the traffic if water levels allow ;D
Council of Northern Caving Clubs; Working together for northern caving since 1963

Online PeteHall

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Re: Lancaster Hole Entrance Shaft - Twin ropes
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2021, 11:32:00 am »
Given that having two permits for Lanc is actively promoted, it might be worth showing the two best different rigs on the topo.

What about adding coloured tags to the anchors with a notice by the first re-belay advising to use either the red or the blue route, for example.  :shrug:

Online Badlad

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Re: Lancaster Hole Entrance Shaft - Twin ropes
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2021, 06:45:34 pm »
Clearly cavers should not alter or interfere with others peoples rigging.  Groups also need to be considerate to each others trip.  Perhaps some better messaging and a new educational drive is needed in this respect.

It is not as simple though as two routes or two bookings of the online system.  Some cavers don't use the booking system so you could find others using the entrance anyway.  Cavers who are exiting by another entrance may not rebelay at all on the way down so that the rope can be pulled up easily from the surface.  This may be safe for a quick abseil but is not safe for other groups to then prussik up - and they shouldn't be using other peoples ropes without asking first.

There will always be a few of these sorts of problems with popular vertical caves.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Lancaster Hole Entrance Shaft - Twin ropes
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2021, 08:53:16 pm »
I was in a cave in the last year, my team entered just after another group of three, whom I knew and would count myself as a good friend. We needed to Derig the ropes which were already in, my mates in the other team wanted to rig their own ropes.

They rigged on top of every rope we had in there. And then added one side of their final y hang to one of the carabiners I wanted to take out.

I didn't need to go to the bottom and turned earlier than they did, so I'm left wondering what to do with their y hang, derig one side and leave them to it?

Luckily I didn't have to deliberate long, and soon heard their voices, I said I'm leaving that crab, can you derig it and catch up with me.

Then I'm left with the decision of whether to hold them up whilst I'm derigging or let them get on the ropes and try and sneak my crabs out from underneath. Fortunately I was able to sneak my crabs out, but i think it would have been swifter and easier if they had rigged underneath.


Ps getting in someone's way is always best if you know them  :lol:

Offline droid

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Re: Lancaster Hole Entrance Shaft - Twin ropes
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2021, 11:51:11 pm »
40 years ago there was a code of ethics for pirates. Don't get in the way of the party with the permit. In many years I only saw that unwritten code broken once, by an officious 'instructor' type on the big pitch of Bar Pot.

I doubt he knows how close he got to being twatted  :lol:
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

 

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